When analyzing Benjamin Franklin’s “The Autobiography,” two opposing personality traits battle during many situations in his life, his humility and his vanity. Although Franklin vainly brags to his son about leading a group of sea-loving boys in adventures, he humbles himself when he admits an error in judgement made when he led the group of boys to steal stones from a construction site, an action that was quickly discovered and for which they were all reprimanded and punished (485). Years later, Franklin’s position as an apprentice at his brother’s print shop leads to the publishing of two poems which although found popularity in the town, found only criticism from his father, effectively humbling Franklin, whose pride had been boosted from the short-lived success (488). While those two short tales demonstrate his vanity and the humility which results shortly thereafter, Claude-Anne Lopez and Eugenia W. Herbert, co-authors of the book “The Private Franklin: The Man and His Family,” say that Franklin’s entire purpose for writing “The Autobiography” was the story of his thirteen virtues (24). In his autobiography, Fr...
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...ults, both in his personal and professional life, but as a human being, faults are to be expected. “The Autobiography” is a story of Benjamin Franklin’s life as told by the man himself and perhaps it is biased so as to make himself and his life seem to be one to be admired, but there are errors in judgement and mistakes in his life present, mistakes which Franklin might’ve purposely included to show that he is an ordinary person and include guidelines both on what to do in life and what not to do. How the information is perceived is subjective to the reader, some may view his life as overall positive with negative moments and others may view it as the complete opposite. The goal of Benjamin Franklin when he wrote “The Autobiography” was to give others a guideline to life and based on the information included in the book, his life is suited to serve as a guideline.
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